A committee appointed to redraw Lexington’s 12 council districts — to account for population changes — has released a proposed map that would move 47 voting precincts.
Council districts with the most changes under the proposed plan include District 3, which encompasses much of downtown, District 10, which contains areas such as Beaumont, and District 11, which includes the Versailles Road area.
Council districts with the least number of precinct changes include District 5, which contains much of the Chevy Chase area.
In total, nearly 50,000 people would be affected by shifts of 47 precincts from one council district to another. Residents can plug in their address in a map at www.lexingtonky.gov/redistricting-lexington to see if they would be moved to a different council district.
The public will have a chance to weigh in on the changes at a meeting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday in the council chambers at the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Center on Main Street.
Redistricting happens every ten years after the release of U.S. Census data. The city must reconfigure the council districts to account for population changes and to make sure the council districts have similar populations. The optimal population of individual districts is 26,881 residents, according to the committee.
Each council member— the 12 district council members and three at-large council members — appoints a citizen to the redistricting committee. That committee has been meeting for several months to redraw the council district boundaries.
The committee will take public comment on the proposed redistricting map at the meeting Wednesday and hopes to finalize its proposal at a session on Oct. 27.
It will then send the final proposal to the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council for its approval. The council can make changes to the map before approving it.
The goal is to have the 12 council district boundaries approved before Nov. 3, the first day people can file to run for the 2022 election, when all 12 council district seats are up for re-election. However, the city charter says the districts don’t have to be approved until April 2022.
To redraw the maps, the committee followed these guidelines as set forth by city ordinance.
The council districts should have population equality, with each district not having a deviation of more than 10 percent from other council districts
Existing voting precincts cannot be split,
Each district shall be composed of closely arranged precincts that are concentrated in a limited area.
Each district shall be composed of adjoining precincts sharing common boundaries.
The precinct population shall be based upon the 2020 Census redistricting data.
The districts should reflect particular community interests or a range of characteristics, including aggregating areas with similar physical, cultural, or socioeconomic characteristics.
The districts should accommodate relative rates of future growth such that districts that are in growth areas will have a population in the lower range of the ideal population.
New districts should be formed with as little change as possible to existing districts.
Keeping the councilmembers in their current districts should be a priority.
If possible, recognized neighborhood associations should not be split into different council districts.
Arterial highways and other corridors that have been used as boundaries should be considered in defining district boundaries.
In addition to the Wednesday public meeting, the public can also provide feedback via firstname.lastname@example.org.
To find out more about the redistricting process, go to www.lexingtonky.gov/redistricting-lexington. Residents can verify the name of their current voting precinct at https://fayettecountyclerk.com/web/elections/votingLocations.htm.
CivicLex, a nonprofit whose mission is to up civic involvement, is also sponsoring other events regarding redistricting. To find out more go to www.civiclex.org/redistricting.